Bears
Falcons
20 - 22 Final
  for this game

Falcons jolt Bears with last-second FG

Oct 12, 2008 - 10:04 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Rookie Matt Ryan engineered an improbable comeback in an improbable season for the surprising Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan hit Michael Jenkins with a 26-yard completion with one second remaining to set up a 48-yard field goal by Jason Elam as the Atlanta Falcons escaped with a 22-20 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome.

Ryan completed 22-of-29 passes for a career-best 301 yards and a touchdown and Roddy White had nine receptions for 112 yards and a score for the Falcons (4-2), who moved into a three-way tie atop the NFC South Division.

"What a fantastic game," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "It was a true 60-minute game. ... This was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen."

The 2008 season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the downtrodden Falcons organization, which was dealt a serious setback after former franchise quarterback Michael Vick was convicted on dogfighting-related charges and coach Bobby Petrino quit on the team before the end of the 2007 campaign.

There was no quit by Ryan and the Falcons on Sunday.

"Our football team stayed on task for 60 minutes," Smith said. "When you do that, you're going to like the outcome the majority of the time."

Atlanta held a 19-13 lead and was poised to put the game away in the final three minutes, but Elam's 33-yard attempt sailed wide left and Chicago took over on downs.

Kyle Orton engineered an 11-play, 77-yard drive to put the Bears ahead, 20-19, finding Rashied Davis in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining.

But Harry Douglas pounced upon Robbie Gould's squib kick and advanced the ball to the Falcons 40 with six seconds remaining before Ryan, the third overall pick, worked his magic.

Playing with much more poise than a rookie characteristically does, Ryan found Jenkins on a sideline pattern and the wideout got out of bounds with one second left, leaving Elam enough time to redeem himself.

"I was as shocked as anybody," said Elam. "You go on the field and try to make it like any other kick."

The kick was no problem for the 38-year-old veteran, who has won or tied 25 games in the game's waning seconds.

"He's hit a lot of game-winners in his career," Smith said. "I guess he wanted to hit another (one)."

Elam's 48-yarder - his fifth field goal of the game - sailed through the uprights to keep the Falcons, who were picked by many to be a doormat in the NFC South, unbeaten in three home games.

"I was pretty down on the sidelines," Elam admitted before he was given the second chance. "A 48-yarder, there's not a lot of room for error. It started right and moved around the post. I was really happy, really, really happy."

Not quite as happy as Ryan.

The 23-year-old erupted in jubilation as the kick went through, jumping into the arms of his first-year coach.

"I am just still a kid," Ryan joked. "When you're out there playing, you still feel 10, 11, 12 years old. I did everything. I crossed my fingers hoping it would go through. Jason made a great kick. It was extra clutch in that situation."

"Things like that happen," said Davis, who thought that his touchdown reception would be the difference in this one. "It's football and the game is not over till the clock hits zero. They got a good bounce (on the kickoff), had a nice catch and took advantage and won the game."

It was a stunning loss for the Bears, who fell to 3-3.

"(It's) tough, very tough," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "I wish I had more words to show you how bad it really is. When you have setbacks like this, it hurts. We had victory in our grasp and couldn't pull it out."

His statements were echoed by his quarterback.

"We have had three tough losses, but that is just how it goes," Orton said. "This is a tough one on the road. You have to play extremely well and we didn't do that the entire game."

Ryan guided the Falcons to four field goals over the first three quarters before seemingly putting the game away with an impressive 10-play, 76 yard drive in the fourth quarter.

The former Boston College standout kept the drive alive by finding a wide-open Douglas down the middle of the field for a 47-yard completion on 3rd-and-9 from the Falcons 25 before finding White down the right sideline with a 26-yard completion to bring the ball to the Bears 17.

Five plays later, Ryan found White in the end zone to give Atlanta 19-10 cushion.

The Bears drove the ball down to the 1-yard line on the ensuing possession, but the Falcons defense held them, stopping fullback Jason McKie on 3rd-and-goal before Keith Brooking stuffed Matt Forte on fourth down.

"I think it was just an attitude and a mentality to get down there," Brooking said. "Defensively, you just have to bow up and believe you're going to get the job done."

Gould nailed a field goal to cut the lead to six with 4:00 on Chicago's next possession.

Orton finished 26-for-43 with 286 yards and a TD and Forte rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries with one TD for the Bears (3-3).

Atlanta rumbled out to a 9-0 lead on field goals of 29, 48 and 32 yards by Elam before Gould nailed a 36-yarder to cut the lead to 9-3.

Elam extended the cushion to 12-3 with a 41-yarder on Atlanta's first possession of the second half, but Forte cut the lead to 12-10 on a 3-yard TD run with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 7 10 20
    ATLANTA 6 3 3 10 22 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 29 YD, 5:47. Drive: 10
    plays, 48 yards in 5:47. Key plays:
    Ryan 12-yard pass to Jenkins to
    Chicago 44; Ryan 15-yard pass to
    White to Chicago 33; Ryan 15-yard
    pass to Jen

    Oct 12 4:11 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 48 YD
    CHICAGO 20
    ATLANTA 22 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 20, Falcons 22  End of Reg.Oct 12 4:10 PM
  • mark hurry up with the review! my affiliate is about to switch!

    Bears 20, Falcons 19  4th - 0:06Oct 12 4:08 PM


  • NFL
    TD CHI
    RASHIED DAVIS 17 YD PASS FROM KYLE ORTON
    (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)
    CHICAGO 20
    ATLANTA 19 0:11 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 20, Falcons 19  4th - 0:11Oct 12 4:05 PM
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    Bears 20, Falcons 19  4th - 0:11Oct 12 4:05 PM
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    Bears 13, Falcons 19  4th - 0:23Oct 12 4:00 PM
  • 104
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    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Bears 13, Falcons 19  4th - 2:00Oct 12 3:53 PM
  • mark no, elam!

    Bears 13, Falcons 19  4th - 3:48Oct 12 3:51 PM


  • NFL
    FG CHI
    ROBBIE GOULD 32 YD
    CHICAGO 13
    ATLANTA 19 4:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 13, Falcons 19  4th - 4:00Oct 12 3:45 PM
  • 84
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    RUWTbot Added 46 roots (Close Finish)

    Bears 13, Falcons 19  4th - 4:00Oct 12 3:45 PM
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    Bears 10, Falcons 19  4th - 5:56Oct 12 3:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    RODDY WHITE 3 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    CHICAGO 10
    ATLANTA 19 13:25 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 10, Falcons 19  4th - 13:25Oct 12 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 7 10
    ATLANTA 6 3 3 12 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 29 YD, 5:47. Drive: 10
    plays, 48 yards in 5:47. Key plays:
    Ryan 12-yard pass to Jenkins to
    Chicago 44; Ryan 15-yard pass to
    White to Chicago 33; Ryan 15-yard
    pass

    Oct 12 3:13 PM


  • NFL
    TD CHI
    MATT FORTE 3 YD RUN
    (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)
    CHICAGO 10
    ATLANTA 12 2:24 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bears 10, Falcons 12  3rd - 2:24Oct 12 3:05 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 41 YD
    CHICAGO 3
    ATLANTA 12 10:36 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bears 3, Falcons 12  3rd - 10:36Oct 12 2:52 PM
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    Bears 3, Falcons 9  3rd - 13:55Oct 12 2:48 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 3
    ATLANTA 6 3 9 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 29 YD, 5:47. Drive: 10
    plays, 48 yards in 5:47. Key plays:
    Ryan 12-yard pass to Jenkins to
    Chicago 44; Ryan 15-yard pass to
    White to Chicago 33; Ryan 15-yard
    pass to

    Oct 12 2:30 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 18 roots

    Bears 3, Falcons 9  HalfOct 12 2:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG CHI
    ROBBIE GOULD 36 YD
    CHICAGO 3
    ATLANTA 9 4:02 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bears 3, Falcons 9  2nd - 4:02Oct 12 2:14 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 32 YD
    CHICAGO 0
    ATLANTA 9 7:49 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bears 0, Falcons 9  2nd - 7:49Oct 12 2:05 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0
    ATLANTA 6 6 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 29 YD, 5:47. Drive: 10
    plays, 48 yards in 5:47. Key plays:
    Ryan 12-yard pass to Jenkins to
    Chicago 44; Ryan 15-yard pass to
    White to Chicago 33; Ryan 15-yard
    pass

    Oct 12 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 48 YD
    CHICAGO 0
    ATLANTA 6 0:59 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bears 0, Falcons 6  1st - 0:59Oct 12 1:33 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 29 YD
    CHICAGO 0
    ATLANTA 3 9:13 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bears 0, Falcons 3  1st - 9:13Oct 12 1:10 PM
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    Bears vs. FalconsOct 12 9:04 AM
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